8. The Desire to Eat Healthy Takes Over One’s Life
This is the side of orthorexia that demands attention: If we are applauding eating disorders without realizing, then it’s clear that the way we talk about food needs to change. While institutions like the DSM can move slowly—let’s not forget that the term “anorexia” was first used a full 80 years before it was included in the DSM—we cannot continue ignoring an eating disorder because we refuse to understand what it is.
Orthorexics are not “crazy” and othorexia is not about blaming healthy food. It is about when the desire to eat healthy takes away from the other aspects of a person’s life. As Jordan Younger writes on her blog, orthorexia occurs when someone believes that a diet is the answer: “It breaks my heart to see and hear beautiful, motivated, capable young women being sucked in to an extreme diet and way of life because it has been branded to them as ‘THE HEALTHIEST WAY TO LIVE’ above all else,” she notes. “If anything is claiming to be the #1 healthiest, or the ONLY way to live, then you know you’ve found a problem.”